County takes up zoning request
By Steve Herring
Published in News on November 22, 2012 12:21 AM
A second rezoning vote by Wayne County commissioners will be required before a Selma, Ala.-based company can proceed with plans to open a mulch-production operation in a shuttered shingle factory.
Clayton Walters, general manager of National Salvage and Service Corp., told commissioners during their Tuesday morning session that the rezoning was needed before the state could proceed with the company's air quality permitting. Also, it would allow the company to close on the property by Nov. 28.
The plant could be operational in the first quarter of 2013, he said. It would have approximately 30 employees.
The need for the second vote was not mentioned during the meeting, and commissioners have not indicated if they will hold a special session for it. The board's next meeting is not until Dec. 4.
Approval was recommended by the Wayne County Planning Board, and commissioners approved the request by a 5-0 vote. However, since the full board was not present -- Commissioners Bud Gray and J.D. Evans were absent -- a second vote will be needed before the zoning can be changed.
The second vote does not have to be unanimous.
National Salvage has asked the county to rezone approximately 54 acres on the south side of Old Mount Olive Highway between the CSX railroad tracks and Genoa Road from Light Industry to Heavy Industry.
The property is owned by BMCA of Goldsboro and once was home to the GAF Materials Corp. plant that closed in January 2008.
The company wants to take in used poles and railroad cross ties and turn them into landscape material. The cross ties would be primarily delivered by rail, while the product would be shipped out by truck.
The current zoning does not allow that type of industry.
During a public hearing prior to the vote, Victoria Quinn of Pikeville presented commissioners with a petition signed by residents near the plant opposing the rezoning. It was signed by 241 people.
Ms. Quinn said she was representing her sister, who lives near the site, but was unable to attend because of her job. She said residents in the area oppose the plant because of potential problems with dust, noise and increased truck traffic.
Walters said a dust suppression system would keep any dust from leaving the site. The plant is located near the back of the property so that the noise should not be a problem, he said. The noise level would be about 75 decibels at 75 feet from the plant, which is a very low level.
Walters said there would be about 20 trucks per day and added that there have been no complaints about noise and dust at the company's two Alabama facilities.
Steve L. Herring of the Grantham community said there was a similar operation already in Goldsboro and that there was no problem with dust or noise. The plants, he said, are a good way to recycle the wood that is coated with creosote.
"I think it would be a good industry to have in the county," he said.
The public hearing on National Salvage's request was one of three held Tuesday morning.
Commissioners also approved a petition from James B. Sasser to rezone one lot totaling about 35,600 square feet on the south side of Genoa Road between the CSX railroad tracks and Woodland Acres Avenue from Residential Agriculture 30 to Village District.
Sasser wants to maintain his residence and to open a used car sales business. However, the current zoning does not allow for business uses that require outside storage.
That approval, like the one for National Salvage, will require a second vote.
The board took no action following a public hearing on a request by Ronnie Matthews to amend the county's Light Industry zone to allow cemeteries as a permitted use.
Matthews wants to establish a private cemetery at 423 Millers Chapel Rd. However, the county has received a petition from residents in the Elroy community, which is signed by nearly 250 people who are against the change.
The Planning Board recommended approval with a stipulation that chapels should not be allowed in the zone if the location falls within the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Accident Potential Zone II or high noise areas above 80 decibels.
Sheila Darden said her property adjoins the land Matthews wants rezoned. She said her late estranged husband had maintained the Matthews' lot for years.
The property does not have a driveway and there is no room for parking except along the road. That would be dangerous because of the volume of truck traffic on the road, she said.
Ms. Darden said she did not want a cemetery next to her home and asked commissioners how they would like to see a cemetery every time they left or returned home.
"None of the neighbors want it," she said.
Elliott Futrell of Goldsboro voiced opposition as well.
Futrell, who is an undertaker, said that Matthews would have to petition the N.C. Cemetery Commission before he would establish a cemetery. He said he had checked and that no such petition has been made.
"It has to be before it comes to this point of the process," he said.
Commissioner Jack Best said that the board needed more discussion on the request because of the opposition and since no one had spoken for it. Commissioners agreed to discuss the request at a future board meeting, but did not specify a date.